6. Cultivate interests.
They seek out and cultivate outside interests. How couples negotiate this varies. However, individual interests keep the novelty alive and creates the space between couples that is needed to remain curious about one another. Each person is not threatened by their partner’s interests with family and friends that do not always include them. They recognize this is part of who they are. Important!
7. Strong foundation of trust and values.
You and your partner have a strong sense of trust between you. You are able to discuss everything openly, even the things that are not so great. Neither of you has a hidden agenda or secrets from his or her past. You also share basic values and life goals and have discovered what you want out of life, identified your common goals and know that working together will help you both get there.
8. More than a one and done.
Healthy couples know that a slight or falter does not define the person they are as that goes to character. We are all fallible and make mistakes. We say and do dumb things. We unintentionally disappoint our partners. When a person makes mistake, the other person doesn’t look at this as a character flaw, but a mistake. You can still love someone and be angry or disappointed at them in the moment. One single error doesn’t define a person. Couples learn how to look at the situation in its context.
9. Continue to grow.
Healthy couples continue to grow and evolve. They put the effort in to be a better person. They continue to make changes to bring their best self to the relationship. They don’t take their partner or spouse for granted. Remember the early days when time and care was put into how we look and taking care of ourselves? We all do. Couples know the importance of self-care and work hard not to settle into a routine that prevents them from growing and demonstrating that they are taking care of themselves. They honor the other person.
10. Embrace the ebb and flow.
Couples recognize that relationships have their own ebb and flow. No two relationships are the same. How each couple manages the ups and downs of life – and there will be plenty – is a critical factor in staying healthy. Healthy couples don’t focus solely on the negative things because they understand that to have the good times, you have to also recognize that there will be difficult and challenging times.
11. Create the positive list.
Each person can list many of the positive things they like/love about their partner. They focus on the 5:1 ratio – expressing five positives for every one negative. Yes, there will be challenges and things that drive you crazy! But they are able to look past those things and focus in on the good and share openly about their struggles.
12. The Happiness Factor.
Each person doesn’t hold their partner/spouse responsible for their happiness. Although it’s nice to feel validated and hear reassuring words, each person recognizes that true happiness comes from within. They don’t rely or make the other person feel guilty or bad if they are unhappy!
The key to having a healthy relationship is to recognize that relationships are constantly evolving and even people in healthy relationships don’t do these things flawlessly – that’s the beauty of relationships. Because incorporating these healthy behaviors really can change the course of your relationship
They do however work hard at consistently approaching their partner with respect, openness, and a willingness to be introspective enough to examine their mistakes, make necessary changes and improvements. You encourage each other to continue to grow, change, evolve and inspire each other to be better people.